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In discussing Drucilla Cornell's remarks about Toni Morrison's Beloved, I consider epistemological questions raised by the acquiring of understanding of racism, particularly the deep-rooted racism embodied in social norms and values. I suggest that questions about understanding racism are, in part, questions about personal and political identities and that questions about personal and political identities are often, importantly, epistemological questions.
Rousseau's Julie, ou La Nouvelle Héloise is two novels in one: a story of wifely virtue and a counterstory of women's friendship. Whereas the virtue story exemplifies what feminist readers since Mary WoRstonecraft have considered to be the most oppressive of Rousseau's prescriptions for women, the friendship counterstory questions the ethical foundations and social manifestations of the model of patriarchal authority that Rousseau ordinarily defends. In this essay, I read the novel with an eye for both stories and the tension between them.
My intent is to bring a key group of critical terms associated with the emotions—bitterness, sentimentality, and emotionality—to greater feminist attention. These terms are used to characterize emoters on the basis of how we express ourselves, and they characterize us in ways that we need no longer be taken seriously. I analyze the ways in which these terms of emotional dismissal can be put to powerful political use.
Abortion considerations require deep reflection on law, convention, social mores, religious norms, family contexts, emotions, and relationships. I have three arguments. First, a liberal “right to choose” framework is inadequate because it is based on individualist notions of rights. Second, reproductive freedoms should be extended to all women. Third, abortion ethics involves a dialectical interplay between rights and responsibilities, and between social, cultural, and particular contexts, and is best understood in terms of moral praxis.
This article places Foucault's 1977 suggestions regarding the reform of French rape law in the context of ongoing feminist debates as to whether rape should be considered a sex crime or a species of assault. When viewed as a disciplinary matrix with both physical and discursive effects, rape and the rape trial clearly contribute to the “hysterization” of women by cultivating complainants' confessions in order to demonstrate their supposed lack of self-knowledge.
Carol Gilligan has delineated two ethics, the ethic of rights and the ethic of care. In this article I argue that the two ethics are part of one overall system, the ethic of care functioning as a necessary base for the ethic of rights. 1 also argue that the system is seriously flawed. Because women are held accountable to both ethics and because the two ethics frequently conflict, women recurrently find themselves in a moral double bind.
The question, “Why has Harriet Taylor MM appeared in the history of philosophy as she has?” has several answers. The answers intertwine the personality and polities of Harriet, the sexism of those who wrote of her (which was a reflection of the overall status of women during the period the commentator wrote), misunderstandings of the means and meaning of her collaboration with John Stuart Mill, and the disturbing challenge of her questioning.
A panel titled Feminist Philosophy after Twenty Years was organized by Carol C. Gould for the session sponsored by the Committee on the Status of Women at the American Philosophical Association's 1993 Eastern Division Meeting, December 30, 1993 in Atlanta, GA. The remarks of the three panelists, Linda Lopez McAiister, Ann Ferguson and Kathy Addelson are printed below.
This paper was originally presented as part of a panel entitled “Feminist Philosophy After Twenty Years” at the 1993 meeting of the Eastern Division of the American Philosophical Association (APA). It is a discussion of the conditions that needed to be—and were—present in the United States in the 1970s in order for feminist philosophy to take root and flourish.
This paper provides an overview of twenty years of feminist philosophy in Northamerka. The professionalization of feminist theory that has occurred through the mains treaming of feminist philosophy creates a danger of a gap between theory and practice that creates the danger of co-optation. Three stages of feminist philosophizing are outlined, including the radical critique, gender difference and difference/post-modemist stages. The last stage, it is argued, leads to an conceptual impasse about feminist strategies for social change.
Feminist philosophy is now an established subdiscipline, but it began as an effort to transform the profession. Academics and activists worked together to make the new courses, and feminist theory was tested in the streets. As time passed, the “'second wave” receded, but core elements of feminist theory were preserved in the academy. How can feminist philosophers today continue the early efforts of changing profession and the society, hand in hand with women outside the academy.
In Woman and Nature: The Roaring Inside Her, Susan Griffin's embedding of language and culture within the natural world implicitly offers a critique of widespread assumptions, shared by many feminists, that language belongs only to the powerful and that it is inherendy violent. Griffin's depiction of the process through which women come to speech is illuminated by V. N. VofosHnov's work on the multiaccentuakty of language and by Trinh Minh'ha's characterizations of oral traditions. Both authors stress the constant re-creation of language by speakers and listeners.